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Poll shows North Shore drivers still using their electronic devices

We see you, people looking into your laps at the red light.
A North Vancouver RCMP officer prepares to issue a ticket during a distracted driving enforcement blitz in March 2018. | Cindy Goodman / North Shore News

Texting your BFF, Jill? Trying to find a faster route home? Skipping through an annoying ad to get back to your podcast?

Distracted driving has been illegal in B.C. since 2010, yet almost a third of North Shore residents polled on our website admit to reaching for their cellphone from behind the wheel.

North Shore News polled online readers and asked the question: How often do you use your phone while driving?

The poll ran from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. Of the 1,522 votes, we can determine that 561 are from within the North Shore community. The full results are as follows:

Every time it buzzes. 3.03% local, 4.20% total    
Sometimes, but only if I feel it's important. 5.53% local, 5.39% total    
Rarely. Nobody's perfect. 21.57% local, 24.05% total    
Never. It's dangerous and selfish. 69.88% local, 66.36% total    
  Local   Total

A first-time offence for using an electronic device while driving brings an automatic $368 fine plus four demerit points.

In 2019, police in B.C. issued more than 40,000 tickets for distracted driving, according to ICBC. In August, the public insurer released results of a provincewide survey that found as many as 43 per cent of drivers user their phone as often as one out of every 10 trips.

On July 27, North Vancouver RCMP officers issued more than $18,000 in distracted driving tickets to 50 drivers in one day.

“That is a really high number,” said Cpl. Melissa Jongema, North Vancouver RCMP spokesperson, at the time.

Results are based on an online study of adult North Shore News readers who are located in North Vancouver and West Vancouver. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

North Shore News uses a variety of techniques to capture data, detect and prevent fraudulent votes, detect and prevent robots, and filter out non-local and duplicate votes.

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